Amateur Smoker

Discussion in 'Roll Call' started by jswainston, May 27, 2010.

  1. Hey guys,

    I'm Josh

    I bought a mini chief smoker the other day.  Spent a lot of time wanting a smoker, thought I might be good at it, but didn't want to commit without giving it a go.  So I got something cheap and easy to use. 

    What I want to do is a small, 5 to 8 lbs brisket.  But the instuction manual says I have to cook it in the oven??  I have seen people fully smoke the brisket in the mini chief, but how do I go about it.  I ask the smoking forum for advice in this matter and lay myself at the mercy of your suggestions.  Really guys, just make me look good when I present this thing to the family.

  2. richoso1

    richoso1 Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Josh, welcome to the SMF. I'm sure someone will be by soon to help you out.Good to see that you're not shy about questions, that's how we all learn. It's all good my friend.
  3. fftwarren

    fftwarren Smoking Fanatic

    Welcome to the SMF, glad to have you aboard. I can cook a brisket good, but I can't explain it real easily nor am I familiar with a mini chief. But I can assure you, you don't need the oven. You basically want to season the meat to your liking or to a recipe that looks good to you, then before you put the meat on you need to let it air dry for a while to get the moisture off the outside. Then put it on your smoker for several hours until you get a good smoke in it. usually takes several hours. Then I wrap mine in foil for the rest of the time until its falling apart.

    check under the beef subforum, they have many threads on brisket smoking.
    Last edited: May 27, 2010
  4. jirodriguez

    jirodriguez Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Brisket is fairly simple.... but long. Figure roughly 1.5 hrs. per lb. as a rough estimate, but it can go longer or shorter. The trick with brisket is don't rush it. For a first attempt I would try for something easy - rub the outside with salt, pepper, & galic powder -  you can do this the night before or just right before you put it on the smoker.

    I am guessing you have a trimmed brisket flat. Meaning it is uniform grain from one end to the other, fairly uniform thickness, and probably missing the fat cap. If the fat cap has been trimmed you have two choices: 1. spritz it every 2 hrs. with apple juice to help keep it moist, 2. drape some bacon on top to let the bacon fat baste it.

    I am not familiar with your specific smoker, but the basic is to run your smokers chamber temp. at 200-220° (make sure you got an accurate thermometer). Once the smoker is up to temp put the brisket on, if you have a probe thermometer, insert it into the thickest part fo the brisket and set the alarm for about 165'ish. The internal temp. on the brisket will climb stedily till you get somewhere between 140 & 160° (usually), then you will hit the "stall". During the stall (at whatever temp it hits), the internal meat temp will slow to about 1° every hour. It is during the stall that the heat is breaking down the toughness of the brisket and turning it into a tender juicy piece of meat. The stall can take several hours, some bad ones might go 7+ hrs., don't mess with it... let it do its thing. Once you get through the stall you can wrap the brisket in a double layer of heavy foil put it back in the smoker (or and oven) till the internal temp gets to 190°. At 190° pull the foil wrapped brisket off of the heat, wrap it in an old towel, and place it inside a cooler. Fill the rest of the cooler with old towels or pillows and leave the brisket to rest for 2 hrs. (or more). Once rested cut 1/4" slices across the grain to serve.

    If you don't have a probe thermometer, don't keep opening and closing your smoker - if your peeking you aint cooking! You can add 10-20 min. of cook time for each "peak", depending on your smoker. Kmart sells a probe therm for $13 woth getting one if you don't have one, just check it in boiling water to make sure it's accurate. If you have an upper and lower rack in your smoker put the brisket on top and a foil pan under it to catch the drippings. I like to put a beer in the foil pan, other people put other stuff, but the drippings will make an amazing aujus. Just pop them into the freezer while the brisket is resting, let the fat harden on top, toss the fat, then reheat the aujus and drizzle a little over the brisket.... heaven!

    Good luck and don't get impatient, brisket is an exercise of patience... lol.
  5. mballi3011

    mballi3011 Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member


    First off welcome Josh to [b][b][b][b][b][b][b][b][b][b][b][b][b][b][b][b][b][b][b][b][b][b][b][b][b][b][b][b][b][b][b][b][b][b][b][b][b][b][b][b][b][b][b][b][b][b][b][b][b][b][b][b][b][b][b][b][b][b][b][b][b][b][b][b][b][b][b][b][b][b][b][b][b][b][b][b][b][b]SMF[/b][/b][/b][/b][/b][/b][/b][/b][/b][/b][/b][/b][/b][/b][/b][/b][/b][/b][/b][/b][/b][/b][/b][/b][/b][/b][/b][/b][/b][/b][/b][/b][/b][/b][/b][/b][/b][/b][/b][/b][/b][/b][/b][/b][/b][/b][/b][/b][/b][/b][/b][/b][/b][/b][/b][/b][/b][/b][/b][/b][/b][/b][/b][/b][/b][/b][/b][/b][/b][/b][/b][/b][/b][/b][/b][/b][/b][/b]. You'll like it here cause there are abunch of good folks here that would just love to help you out with just about anything to do with smoking. We really like to have newbies here because they can bring in a new propective to how things are done. There's nothing like a new set of eyes to give and new way to make things that little differant to make things alittle better. You will also find alot of good recipes and just plain good ways to do things from the good folks that hang out in here. 

    Welcome To Your New Addiction
  6. etcher1

    etcher1 Master of the Pit

    Welcome [​IMG]to the [b][b][b][b][b][b][b][b][b][b][b][b][b][b][b][b][b][b][b][b][b][b][b][b][b][b][b][b][b][b][b][b][b][b][b][b][b][b]SMF[/b][/b][/b][/b][/b][/b][/b][/b][/b][/b][/b][/b][/b][/b][/b][/b][/b][/b][/b][/b][/b][/b][/b][/b][/b][/b][/b][/b][/b][/b][/b][/b][/b][/b][/b][/b][/b][/b] forum, You came to the right place. Good people and good info.
  7. meateater

    meateater Smoking Guru SMF Premier Member

    Welcome to the SMF. Glad to have you here. Lots of good folks, great recipes and knowledge. Looking forward to your first qview.[​IMG]
  8. treegje

    treegje Master of the Pit

    Welcome to the SMF Josh, We are glad to have you onboard
  9. realtorterry

    realtorterry Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I don't know anything about the smoke chief, but welcome to the smoke trian anyway friend [​IMG]
  10. rstr hunter

    rstr hunter Smoking Fanatic

    Owning a Big Chief smoker, here is the answer to your question.  The "Chief" series of smokers are excellent smokers for doing jerky or fish or some sausage as they generally smoke in the 180-190 degree range.  That said, only getting to this temp, you are not running hot enough to do BBQ as is mostly discussed here in the forms of Ribs, Pork Butts, Brisket, and Chicken.  As you can't get the temps you need, you are leaving your meat in the "danger zone" too long for these generally larger cuts of meat and don't have the heat to finish them to the desired temps you need.  As such your recipe is leaving it in the smoker to get a smoky taste, however the writer of the recipe knows that you can't safely finish these in this smoker as that's not what this type of smoker is designed for, so to get the meat safely out of the danger zone and complete finished temps, they are using the oven.  I would definately do that if I was going to try this, however this really isn't the right tool for the job you are trying to do.  Kind of like wood carving with a flat screwdriver, it can be made to work with a lot of help, but isn't the right tool for the job. 
    mr mac likes this.
  11. mr mac

    mr mac Smoking Fanatic

    I agree 100%!  You can do all the cold smoking you want with that unit but I would not attempt the brisket.  The simplest solution to try your hand at smoking and still doing it really easy would be to pick up a Brinkmann electric unit (I've seen them at Lowe's for under $60 and used they are even cheaper) which is still a no fuss smoker that will cook that brisket to perfection!  Just follow the guidelines posted on may different posts on how to smoke that bad boy! 
  12. I have accually been thinking of taking this MIni chief back to Cabela's and exchanging it for a MES 30in.  The price difference isn't that much and I think the MES does more of things I though smokers were suppose to do before I went all have cocked and bought the mini chief.
  13. rstr hunter

    rstr hunter Smoking Fanatic

    For what you want to use this for I think that is a great idea.  I own both a Big Chief and a MES and like them both for their various uses.  If you're going to do briskets, I'd get the 40" MES so you don't have to cut the pieces apart to smoke them.  Just my 2 cents.  Good luck and have a great weekend.
  14. lepcur

    lepcur Fire Starter

    Welcome aboard and I think you should follow the advice above, good luck and let us see yoyr first smoke.   Have a good1,   Mike

Share This Page